Dancing with Duality: Confessions of a Free Spiritby Stella Vance
Through all the ups and downs, it is obvious that Stella Vance has gained much in clarity and wisdom. By sharing her journey and putting herself out there, flaws and all, she is helping others seeking to go beyond the intellectual understanding of truth to the actual experience of truth. -Linda Jean McNabb, author of One Again/b>/h4>
Through all the ups and downs, it is obvious that Stella Vance has gained much in clarity and wisdom. By sharing her journey and putting herself out there, flaws and all, she is helping others seeking to go beyond the intellectual understanding of truth to the actual experience of truth. -Linda Jean McNabb, author of One Again
In a nutshell, my experience with Dancing With Duality was one of the most humbling and levitating I've ever had with a book - leaving me in a state of transcendence: beyond the games of space, time, and best of all, words. -Deke Castleman, author of Whale in the Desert
Get ready for a wild ride with a courageous woman who reveals in stark honesty her journey through many diverse paths of life before she lands on the one uniquely her own. A must read for anyone looking for the courage to seek their own truths. -Scott Stevenson, author of Looks Easy Enough: A Joyful Memoir of Overcoming Disease, Divorce and Disaster
Vance's "examined life" is an excellent example of how enlightening it can be to review one's past as a powerful exercise in finding patterns and recurring lessons. The author shares her ups and downs in an admirably objective way to impart the vast wisdom she has amassed from remaining flexible and open-minded. This memoir is as heartfelt as it is genuine and I believe its message will impact many lives in unforgettable ways. -LindaJoy Rose, Ph.D., author of Your Mind: The Owner's Manual and Raw Fusion: Better Living Through Living Food
Stella Vance's Dancing with Duality is absolutely a must read for today's women! With humility and honesty, she inspires and uplifts those who dream of really living. Her fearlessness makes you want to go ahead and do the things you've always wanted to do! As I read, I felt like I was living through it all with her, and her writing makes you want to keep reading until you've read it all. -S. Maddison Crawford, writer, life and health coach
Betrayed at the age of 21 by the first love of her life, Stella Vance embarks on a life of fearless adventure. She travels the world, adding notches to her lipstick case with lovers from all over the world, and surviving harrowing experiences, including abuse, addiction, abortion, date rape, and cult involvement. Along the way, Stella undergoes a spiritual transformation. Once awakened to the reality of nonduality, she gradually realizes that life is just a game, that death is just another dimension, and that nothing "out there" can really hurt her.
This inspiring page-turning memoir begins in the 1970s, with Stella as a Christian zealot. Subsequently questioning all religious dogma, Stella's mystical quests leads her to delve deeply into the realms of dreams, psychic readings, astrology, tantric yoga, reincarnation and her own past lives, the entheogen ketamine, Indian holy men and women, revolving-door relationships, the seeker culture of southern California, and finally, the ultimate path of Advaita Vedanta. At the same time, she deals with anorexia and bulimia, addictions to cigarettes, marijuana, and alcohol, unwanted pregnancies, teaching in public schools, the death of several loved ones, foreclosure, and emigrating to South America.
The life of Stella Vance embodies all the adventure, drama, romance, humor, and philosophy of a free spirit set loose in the '70s and finding its way into the new millennium. Reading Dancing with Duality provides evidence that life is meant to provide entertainment, as well as to teach us how to be grateful, forgive, and heal from all its vagaries.
In the end, Stella's free spirit journey takes her on the path to the ultimate freedom: freedom from the mind with all its fears, judgments, limiting beliefs, and worries.
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Meet the Author
Stella Vance is the author of Dancing with Duality: Confessions of a Free Spirit, a memoir dealing with a woman who faced eating disorders, divorce, betrayal, physical abuse, abortion, date rape, and more--but found that life is just a game and was able to move on, forgive, and celebrate life with its ups and downs.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Though Stella's viewpoints on life are indeed vastly different from my own, this was a beautiful memoir full of enlightenment and truths, such as, "be careful when you judge someone; you may end up doing a similar thing." This statement shows up time and time again, and it carries a very heavy weight not only within the story, but within all our lives. While we may not always agree with Stella's choices, she shows readers that her own judgments came back to haunt her, and she did, indeed, end up doing similar things, even though she may have told herself “never in a million years.” It's a very interesting look at like growing up in the 60s and 70s, and how free spirited she really was. Stella lays it all bare, discussing both trials and triumphs, and it's such a conversational, beautiful tone that I was taken with her story from the get go. We have all made mistakes, but it takes an extremely strong individual to write a book about them and showcase it to the world. What Stella has done is shown how she has become a free spirit, and how her life decisions ultimately brought her to where she is now. It's a great read, and even if you feel like you might not have the same mindset as Stella, I suggest you pick up this memoir, because it's extremely enlightening and very interesting. Beginning with her parents divorce, her onset of an eating disorder, her love of foreign men (who doesn't!), and her time an University, Stella wraps the reader up tight in her life, gluing us to the pages until the very end.
Once in a while you stumble across a person who¿s actually lived the life some have fantasized about but never had the courage to pursue. Stella Vance is one of those. She¿s lived and worked in several countries all over the globe, enjoyed searching through myriad philosophies and religions of life, and experienced love in a number of satisfying, if not all permanent, relationships. In Dancing With Duality: Confessions of a Free Spirit, Vance tells the story of her life decade by decade, but not from a lofty vantage point, glossing over the darker elements. Neither does she write in a tell-all fashion about her haunts, taking down those who have done her wrong in the process. The book is honest and open, and she leaves it to the reader to make their own decisions about her life choices, while openly admitting to what all those were. Yes, there may have been drugs, lots of sex, addictions, and abortions, but there is also what appears to have been a lifelong search for the mysteries of life that we all wonder about, yet let grocery shopping and TV-watching get in the way of exploring. There are a host of universal theories that Vance ponders and studies as she attends workshops and gets to know self-styled gurus in the realms of higher thinking and enlightenment. Reincarnation is one of her beliefs, and she is fairly clear on who her past lives have been and how they impact her present. She also presents the notion that a soul chooses their parents prior to birth and in turn accepts the challenges they will experience during this life. Vance has lived and worked all over the world ¿ a nomad of sorts who seems to be uneasy whenever her roots get too established. She is able to recount so much of her life because of a journaling habit that started rather young and continued on and off. But this has enabled her to retell events in detail. It¿s a lively and giving spirit that shares details that would be hard for the average Joe (or Josephine) to share with a friend, much less the world at large. Not all the events of her life that she relates are particularly attractive, but by sharing it all she definitely has the element of forthrightness. The book wraps up with a list of forgivenesses to friends and family who caused her pain and the lessons she learned from those experiences. It then delves into the subject of life should mankind graduate to a utopian mindset. While this may be nice in theory, time will tell if we develop to a place where money is meaningless and people work to the betterment of all. Love, of course, would be a mainstay. Dancing with Duality is a very interesting book. For those who gravitate towards New Age themes, you¿ll find a person who has studied as well as practiced a host of ideas and theories. It¿s not so much that there are new themes presented, but the fact that Vance worked to put them into practice ¿ something many would like to think that they do, but don¿t get around to. The book is well written and flows through the decades of her life, changing as the times do. Would that we all could have the courage as Vance does to share the elements of our lives, both light and dark, in such a detailed and honest manner. You¿ll feel like you know her, and you¿ll feel a bit better about admitting to your own darker side as well.
¿Happiness comes from within.¿ Pg146 Author Stella Vance has boldly laid her private life out for all to read. Through several decades of confusion, suffering and soul searching she learned many of life¿s vital lessons achieving a peaceful mind. Despite living through many tragedies beginning early in her life, Stella did not sit back and wonder why; she set out to find her own truth and peace of mind. She fears no judgment from her readers, only a pressing need to help others along their own path of discovery. This memoir is packed full of sensitive issues such as truths about the Bible, reincarnation (official heresy to Christians), past life regression therapy (pros and cons), cultural differences, eating disorders, abusive relationships and so much more. Stella¿s story begins at the age of 14, in the 1970¿s. From there the reader is easily swept through three decades into the new millennium, when she peacefully retires. She dances us across the world with her adventures (21 countries); you will undoubtedly feel her highs and lows. Stella covers all emotions from shock to laughter concluding her memoir with seven short reflections. I encourage all readers to submerse themselves within ¿Dancing with Duality.¿ Stella Vance, retired teacher, now author, lecturer, workshop presenter lives with her husband in South America. Oddly enough I am of Stella¿s age and can picture each decade clearly, remembering my floundering years. With all honesty I can say her memoir has had a powerful, positive impact on my own path to a more mindful life. I have already read it twice and I am not finished yet!